Last week the National Integration Center (NIC) released the first NIMS Alert in over a year (since the release of the NIMS Refresh National Engagement – where did that go, by the way?). This NIMS Alert (01-17): NIMS Resource Management Supplemental Guidance and Tools: National Engagement Period, was issued to solicit feedback on five NIMS Resource Management related documents. The documents released for comment are:
- The draft NIMS Guideline for the National Qualification System (NQS), which describes the components of a qualification and certification system, defines a process for certifying the qualifications of incident personnel, describes how to stand up and implement a peer review process, and provides an introduction to the process of credentialing personnel.
- A set of draft NIMS Job Titles/Position Qualifications, which define minimum qualifications criteria for personnel serving in defined deployable incident positions.
- A set of draft NIMS Position Task Books (PTBs), which identify the competencies, behaviors, and tasks that personnel should demonstrate to become qualified for a defined incident position.
- The draft NIMS Guideline for Mutual Aid, which provides an overview of common mutual aid practices; defines common terminology and processes; and describes an approach for creating legal agreements and operational plans.
- The updated draft of the NIMS Guideline for the Credentialing of Personnel, which provides guidance on national credentialing standards; presents operational definitions and important terms related to credentialing; suggests ways to adapt the national credentialing standards to departmental, agency, jurisdictional, or organizational requirements; and describes how to obtain additional guidance and technical assistance on credentialing.
These are documents that have been long awaited and overdue, particularly given the encouragement through the years for states and local jurisdictions to build incident management team (IMT) capabilities. Some of these documents have existed in prior drafts, but we’ve not had all of these documents existing together. The big deal is that these documents, together, establish the standards for qualification, certification, credentialing, and access to resources. They are all complimentary documents that provide important guidance. My quick initial review of these documents for purposes of this blog post reveal no surprises, as they largely stem from a combination of existing NIMS documents and similar documents established and used by the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) for decades.
When I do a more thorough review of the documents, with the intent of providing feedback to the NIC, I’ll be sure to post a summary of my thoughts here.
Somewhat answering my earlier question about the release of the NIMS Refresh, page 13 of the NQS indicates an area where a link will be inserted for the ‘2017 NIMS’. So hopefully we will see it this year.
Per the NIMS Alert email I received from the NIC, FEMA will be hosting a series of hour-long webinars to review the documents and answer questions. Links to the documents, feedback forms and instructions, and information on the webinars can be found from the link provided in the first paragraph. The National Engagement Period ends June 9, 2017.
© 2017 – Timothy Riecker, CEDP